I came across this snippet of a verse in the book of Daniel recently, and something about it really caught my eye. I encourage you to open up your Bible and read the entire chapter so that you have a better understanding of the context in which this verse is situated, and then zero in on the second half of Daniel 11:32.
I have decided that this “Scripture snippet” will be my life verse for 2020 and beyond, come what may. COVID-19? Economic instability? Stock markets and retirement funds take a nose dive? Yes, all of those things have happened and are still currently happening, but truth be told, there is precious little that I can do in my own strength to change them.
However, when I step into the strength of He who made the world and all that is in it (the One who is no more alarmed by a an metavirus than an elephant would be by an amoeba), then there really is no limit on what the Lord can do in and through me if I am willing to partner with Him. There are three things about this little verse snippet that stand out to me:
- “… people who know their God…”. Do you KNOW God? In the biblical sense, “know” means more than a simple passing acquaintance with another person, but often refers to a deeper connection based on lived experience with the other individual. Do you know God in that way? And is He “your” God, or do you feel that your relationship with the Lord is marked by distance and ambivalence?
- “… will display strength…”. Ah. I like how the verse says “display” and not necessarily “be super strong in your own abilities”. By display, what comes to mind for me is allowing others to see something within ourselves. If the Holy Spirit dwells within us, then the “strength” that others see displayed in us is His strength and not merely our own. And why is strength important? Well, strength gives you the ability to meet resistance and opposition and eventually overcome it. In the spiritual sense, the only way we will be able to overcome the resistance that we face from the evil one is if we allow the Holy Spirit to lead — essentially put on “display”.
- “… and take action“. Truly, knowing God is one thing and displaying His strength is another, but these things mean precious little if we find ourselves unable (or unwilling) to take the action when the Lord says “go!”. That is why the earlier parts of this verse are so important — if we must know God, and display His strength, then it will be easier (but never easy) to take action when the Lord tells us to do so.
And if you look at the life of Daniel, you see see a man who knew His God, displayed His strength, and took action when called upon to do so. The way I see it, the same God who was sufficient for Daniel is also sufficient for me. So here is my proclamation for 2020 and beyond:
- I will strive to know my God better each day.
- I will trust the Holy Spirit to give me the strength needed for whatever task He has set before me.
- When He so leads, I will respond in obedience and act — even (especially?) when doing so makes little or no sense.
Who’s with me? The journey is not for the faint of heart, but guess what? I’ve read the end of the story, and the Good Guy wins in the end. We just have to make it through a few more “chapters” in our lives until we see this promise fulfilled. What a day that will be! ✝️